We know better than to take "True Blood's" characters at face value, aware that everyone has some kind of secret or power, or secret power — anything from mind-reading to being "extra-good at sex." The supernatural stuff has always been an intrinsic part of the individuals' identities - a fixed part of the self that they're either born with or have been endowed with. So while they're not fully human, their struggles often manage to feel human (even if they are shifting into horses or running from goblins). Ultimately, they're all just outcasts trying to fit in, right? Sure.
Last night's episode, titled "I Wish I Was the Moon," called into question the identities of nearly every major character: Tara had to let go of Toni; Jason had to face his fate; Alcide submitted to his true nature; Tommy did some role playing; and Eric disowned his former self. At the center of it all was a new wild card - spirit possession. Season 2 dabbled in possession when Maryann had the citizens of Bon Temps under her orgiastic spell, but this season planes are being crossed and bodies inhabited.
Also, Eric and Sookie finally did it. Hawt.
Over a dinner of cow tongue at Jesus' grandfather Don Bartolo's house, Jesus explains the pair's predicament and implores the bruja for help. Don Bartolo chides Jesus for having the nerve to beg after 20 years of no communication. "Some things are more important than pride," he tells his grandfather, who agrees to help. All they have to do is bring him a sacrifice. Cut to Jesus and Lafayette twiddling their thumbs in an open field in the middle of the night. Apparently, sacrifices have to come to you, so they wait. And wait. Then Jesus reaches down and yanks a rattlesnake from the brush. There may yet be some goat-killer left in this kid!
Inside, before an open flame, Don Bartolo slits his forearm three times, just as Marnie did the first time she summoned Antonia's likeness in the mirror. He unleashes the serpent on Jesus who suffers a bite to the face, and then leaves the room, telling Lafayette to protect Jesus. Distraught, Lafayette yells back at him, "I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!" Oops, wrong motherfucking snake. No, Lafayette panics until we see a blurry ghost form leap into his mouth. Lafayette begins speaking Spanish, and soothing Jesus with some lines about the ocean. The name Tio Luca comes up. Grandpa's trick works, and Jesus survives, but we don't know who Tio Luca is. Like Marnie after a possession, Lafayette doesn't know what happened.
In Bon Temps, Arlene and Terry's house blows up. Everyone makes it out in time, though, including demon baby and his doll. Come to find out, demon baby actually beat everyone out of the house and was just chillin' on the lawn as flames engulfed the rental. How'd that happen? Nobody knows. Probably has something to do with it being a demon baby. Or that phantom woman waving from the street (the doll's rightful owner?).
The fire means Sam won't be able to open Merlotte's, so he hands off the duty to Tommy. He's still feeling guilty about the filicide and tries to knock the memory out of his head with a few pounds of the fist. All of a sudden we see his body contorting and then he's shifted into Sam? What the? Presumably, Tommy now has the ability to shift into humans since he killed his own mother, also a shifter. (Recall that Sam's girlfriend can do this as well since her mother died giving birth to her.) So Tommy-Sam marches into Merlotte's, fires Sookie and promotes Jessica to waitress. Boom. Later that night, he bangs Luna and then ... dies? (Fingers crossed.) Real Sam finds Tommy face down on the floor in a pile of vomit.
At Bill's in her cell, Marnie implores Antonia for help yet again. We finally see in a flashback how Antonia summoned the vampires from their slumber and into the daylight during the Inquisition, causing them all to burst into flames. Antonia appears in Marnie's cell before jumping into her mouth and making herself at home. In comes Luis to face the woman who killed his maker (and who he raped and burned at the stake.) But payback's a bitch, Luis, and it's name is Antonia.
Jason anxiously awaits his fate as ghost daddy by hand-cuffing himself to his bed. Sookie finds him, pointing out that his paws would slip right through the cuffs once he'd turned, and promises to protect him. The brother and sister drink some beers on the porch while Sookie tries to get a handle on were-panthers. (She must have missed episode 3.) Sookie is often a kind of mouthpiece for the TV audience, voicing the kind of doubts and opinions many of us have as we watch the show. Last night was all about her trying to wrap her head around the ridiculousness of were-panthers and Bon Temps' over-saturation with supernatural beings: "Every time I think I've got a handle on all the supernaturals a new one comes along." It doesn't really add much, but it's funny to hear the characters, particularly Sookie, discuss the show with the awareness of a viewer. We keep waiting for Big Mama Kitty to poke her head out from behind a tree, but Jason never turns ("Those Hotshot fuckers are so dumb they can't even make a were-panther right.") and Crystal never comes. Could this be the end of Hotshot, too? Is it possible that we're both Mickens and Hotshot free?
Last but not least, the much-anticipated Eric-Sookie nookie bookendend the episode. Bill cockblocked Eric's first go, arresting him and sentencing the amnesiac vampire to the True Death. New Eric refuses to defend the old Eric, saying, "I don't want to remember. I'm not the vampire you think I am. Not anymore." He asks Bill to do a couple of things, but mainly to make sure that Sookie's happy, because she's cute and blond and made of vampire crack and sunshine and therefore deserves happiness more than anyone. Bill, knowing that he can't care openly for her anymore, releases Eric (we didn't really think Eric was gonna die anyway, C'MON!). Bill stands on his porch looking sadly out into the night, while to Neko Case's "I wish I was the moon" plays on. He knows Eric and Sook are doing it and the moon can totally see.
WTF: What was Terry doing holding an armadillo in front of the smoldering ruins of his house?
QUOTES & NOTES:
-Were-ness is genetic, not viral, per Alcide and Debbie.
-The recent exchanges between Eric and Pam, are reminiscent of the struggle between Bill and Lorena last season. In his forgetful state, Eric shows a similar desire as the old Bill to be a kinder, gentler vampire. Pam, while not Eric's maker, pleads with him to be true to his carnal vampire urges.
-Boobs are good for easing panic attacks.
Eric: "You're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."
Sookie: "Because you can't remember anything else."
Eric: "Whatever I am guilty of Sookie has nothing to do with it. She was protecting me."
Bill: "How touching."
Eric: "Are you scared?"
Pam: "Fuck you. Pieces of my body are falling off. I'm pissed."
Sam: "If you don's shut the fuck up and stop fucking with me, I'm gonna turn into a doberman and chew your face off."
Andy: "Then I will call animal control and put you to sleep."
Andy: "Fightin' crime - it's a helluva workout.
Mrs. Fortenberry: "If you see Tommy, tell him he's dead to me. And that I want my Bible back."
Tara: "Merlotte's Bar and Grill: serving up craziness seven days a week."
Jason: "Your momma was a were-panther?"
Jessica: "No. She just had panic attacks."
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